Attorneys for former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell moved to dismiss a $1.3 defamation lawsuit against her by arguing that “no reasonable person” could accept her false election claims as “statements of fact,” CNN reports.
Dominion Voting Systems filed the lawsuit after Powell without any evidence claimed the company’s voting machines flipped votes from Donald Trump to Joe Biden in a scheme linked to dead Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and communists in China and Cuba. The company filed similar suits against Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell for making the same claims.
Powell, who also represented former national security adviser Mike Flynn, briefly served on Trump’s post-election legal team before Giuliani tried to distance the team from her conspiracy theories.
Powell could also face sanctions in court for filing frivolous claims.
Powell says her claims were BS:
In a court filing on Monday, Powell’s attorneys argued that the suit should be dismissed because her claims were free speech and not statements of fact.
“Determining whether a statement is protected involves a two-step inquiry,” the filing said. “Is the statement one which can be proved true or false? And would reasonable people conclude that the statement is one of fact, in light of its phrasing, context and the circumstances surrounding its publication.”
“Analyzed under these factors ... no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” the attorneys argued.
“Additionally, in light of all the circumstances surrounding the statements, their context, and the availability of the facts on which the statements were based, it was clear to reasonable persons that Powell’s claims were her opinions and legal theories on a matter of utmost public concern,” the filing added.
Trump believed them:
Despite the attorneys’ claims, Trump believed Powell could flip the election based on her claims and reportedly sought to appoint her as a special counsel to investigate unfounded claims of fraud.
He also discussed using the Department of Homeland Security to seize Dominion voting machines.
Advisers talked Trump out of both, and repeatedly clashed with Powell over her baseless claims.
Dominion said in its lawsuit that "emboldened by Trump's endorsement of her false accusations, which launched her into political superstardom, Powell's defamatory media campaign continued and intensified" in media appearances and on social media.